Zika concerns cause some to hold off IVF plans

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Many women across Houston are holding off on having babies for now, and it's all because of the uncertainty surrounding the Zika virus.

“People are really scared about this because…the only important thing is that someone take home a healthy live baby so going through this process and potentially having an affected child -- that can be scary because that's not the outcome we're looking for,” said Dr. Jamie Nodler of Houston IVF.

That scary outcome includes microcephaly, a birth defect in which the baby is born with an abnormally small head.

At Houston IVF, an infertility practice, doctors said the Zika virus is at the forefront of patient concerns, leading some women to put their baby plans on hold.

“I have had several patients…who have wanted to potentially delay treatment for a while so we have people waiting for a few months to see how it plays out,” said Dr. Nodler.

“It's a really devastating side effect, and it dominates my thoughts probably everyday to a large extent,” said Stephanie Ceviker, a fertility treatment patient.

For Ceviker, everything has been successful so far -- it's just a matter of deciding when to implant the embryo into the uterus.

“We're in the middle of this process. We have the frozen embryos, so…we're in a balancing act of when we're going to go forward. When's the right time, what if it gets here, and it gets worse next year?” said Ceviker.

“I have had several patients freeze eggs and embryos due to the virus because they’re fearful during pregnancy, once they have an embryo transfer the virus could then come to Houston, come to the United States. They want to not be pregnant while the virus is here,” said Dr. Nodler.

Doctors said prevention is key and that the CDC has recommended that women -- even pregnant women -- use EPA-registered mosquito repellent with DEET in it.